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Canadian firm acquires majority stake in Smyth

February 9, 2010

The Hickey family, along with the Smyth management team, will continue in their current roles managing Smyth.

Smyth Companies, a manufacturer of labels and label application equipment for some of America’s top brands, has sold a majority share of its business to Novacap, a private equity firm headquartered in Montreal, ON, Canada. The purpose of the partnership, as it is described, is to assist Smyth in developing its markets and expanding its reach in North America as well as globally.

John Hickey, CEO of Smyth Companies, says, “Smyth has concluded a year long search to find the right partner and we are pleased to announce this partnership with Novacap who will supply the capital and acquisition expertise to expand our reach throughout North America and world-wide."

Novacap’s stated mission is “to invest in middle market companies that have the potential to become world leaders by helping to develop their markets, technology, and operations.” Hickey says, “Five years ago, Smyth Companies began a strategy to reposition itself for the new world economy. We have successfully executed a customer-centric vision to build a platform for growth both organically and through acquisitions. Smyth’s leadership has reengineered the organization to better serve customers through cost savings and productivity enhancements. We have consolidated production facilities, invested in highly productive manufacturing assets along with employing significant efforts in Lean manufacturing practices such as Six Sigma and Kaizen events. We have also guided the company to be a world citizen by implementing sustainability and green initiatives such as LIFE (Label Initiative for the Environment). In addition, Smyth was awarded the ‘Best of the Best Work Places in America’ by the Printing Industries of America.”

The Hickey family, the proprietors of Smyth for more than 100 years, along with the Smyth management team, will retain a significant ownership stake in the company and continue in their current roles managing Smyth. Further details of the partnership have not been revealed.

“We will continue to manage our business using these guiding principles: We – deliver quality; create innovation; keep our promises; and treat customers like family,” adds Hickey.

Smyth is one of the largest label manufacturers in the US. In addition to package labels, Smyth produces in-pack and on-pack promotional labels and application equipment. The company has headquarters in St. Paul, MN, USA and operates five production facilities located in Minnesota, Virginia, and Colorado. Smyth employs approximately 350 people.